Midwest Recruiting: Muskegon’s La’Darius Jefferson named STATE CHAMPS! 2017 Mr. Football presented by Hungry Howie’s
November 29th, 2017 – State Champs! Sports Network and Hungry Howie’s announced on Wednesday afternoon that Muskegon senior quarterback La’Darius Jefferson has been named the recipient of the 10th annual STATE CHAMPS! Michigan Mr. Football Award Presented by Hungry Howie’s.
After being presented with the award, Jefferson said that he was honored to receive the award and to be named with the other great players that have gone on to win the award.
“It’s a great ordeal, because now I’m in the names with the greats, Cody White (Walled Lake Wester), Alex Malzone (Birmingham Brother Rice), a lot of great names like that,” he said. “It’s crazy, I never thought as a kid – you see all of those great players and they have offers from Michigan and Michigan State and Ohio State and all of these big time schools – you’d never think that a normal kid from Muskegon would win this award. It’s a blessing. I’m beyond blessed and I’m beyond honored.”
State Champs! Senior Editor and analyst Tom Markowski said that Jefferson’s outstanding season where he led the Big Reds to the Division 3 state championship made him the right choice for this year’s award.
“He’s a winner,” Markowski said. “He was a winner last year, he came within a point of winning a state championship when he was quarterbacking Muskegon then. He’s quarterbacking them this year. I had a chance to see him in the state playoffs last year, he was the man with the ball – everybody knew he was going to get the ball, but it really didn’t matter. Tough kid, could play defense if you wanted him to, they just didn’t want him to this year, but he was still the man this year. His stats, performance and impact for his team speak for themselves.”
In his senior season with the Big Reds, Jefferson amassed 2,095 rushing yards and 33 rushing touchdowns and also threw for 1,205 yards and 21 passing touchdowns as he helped lead the Big Reds to a perfect 14-0 record and their first state championship since 2008.
Muskegon Coach Shane Fairfield also praised Jefferson’s poise and impact in having “a true champion, a true driven leader at quarterback” this year.
“We had a guy that when it was going to get rough or bad, we were okay” Fairfield said. “You always felt comfortable when it was a thunderstorm or a snowstorm and the thunder and lightning were flashing, who did you jump into? Dad’s arms or Mom or Dad’s bed. I guess he was Mom or Dad for us because when things got rough, we were comfortable because (our guys) knew their leader had their back.”
Jefferson is currently uncommitted, but holds several Division 1 scholarship offers, and said that he’s proud of what he’s accomplished on the field in his high school career, but takes pride in being a well-rounded student athlete and leader on and off the field.
“It means a lot,” Jefferson said. “I’d rather go down as a great person, a great student and a great leader in this community then scoring touchdowns, because it will carry you a long way. It’s something that I take pride in and strive to be the best person, player and leader that I can be.”
With 2017 marking the 10th year of the STATE CHAMPS! Michigan Mr. Football Award, STATE CHAMPS! Sports Network Executive Producer Lorne Plant indicated that Jefferson is in “great company” with the class or previous Mr. Football winners and finalists.
“La’Darius Jefferson is as great of a person as he is a football player,” Plant said. “For La’Darius to win this award on the 10th anniversary of Mr. Football makes it even more special. For guys like former Big Reds Deshaun Thrower and last year’s finalist Kalil Pimpleton, Jefferson says he did this for them, not himself. That is a guy that we can all root for.”
“We are proud to support high school sports and the 10th annual Mr. Football Award,” exclaimed Rob Elliott, Hungry Howie’s EVP of Marketing. “La’Darius is a well-rounded student athlete who put on a memorable performance in the state championship game and provided outstanding team leadership all year long.”